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The East African Community invites participation from the International Energy Charter

On 21-23 February 2018, in Kampala, Uganda, the East African Community (EAC) held its 4th Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Financing and Development and its 19th Summit. The Retreat aims to accelerate the objectives of the EAC Development Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals in the infrastructure and health sectors. The Membership of the EAC includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Sudan.

The Secretary-General of the East African Community, Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko, requested the participation of the International Energy Charter at the Donor’s Round Table. The Donor Round Table, which was at ministerial level, looked to generate refined outcomes to be subsequently presented to EAC Heads of State of Infrastructure and Health, Financing and Development.

This event included global participation from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the European Investment Bank, the European Union, China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The opening remarks of the Round Table were made by the Minister of Works and Transport of Uganda and Chairman of the Sectoral Council, Hon. Monica Zuba Ntege, while the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, delivered the keynote speech. Dr Ernesto Bonafé, Head of the Expansion Unit at the Energy Charter Secretariat presented on the topic of “Best Practices in Creating Conducive Environment for Investment in the Energy Sectors. A Focus on Energy Charter Treaty”. 

The EAC is a dynamic regional economic and political integration organisation, and most of its Members are signatories of the International Energy Charter, which is a non-binding political declaration dedicated to cooperation on energy issues such as cross-border trade and transit, investment promotion and protection, and upholding national sovereignty over energy resources. 

The EAC Member States are also actively involved in acceding to the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which requires the completion of ECT accession reports. Two energy experts from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda will be seconded to the Secretariat in Brussels later this year to finalise the ECT accession reports. Dr Bonafé paid a courtesy visit to Hon. Minister Eng. Irene Muloni, who the past years participated in the Energy Charter Ministerial Conferences in Tokyo (2016) and Ashgabat (2017). Furthermore, the EU Technical Assistance Facility for the SE4All Initiative facilitated the work of the Secretariat in working with African countries to promote a investment-friendly environment for sustainable energy.